September 11, 2019 / 4:59 PM / 11 days ago

U.S. shale to lift oil output ahead of government forecasts: Rystad

(Reuters) - Output from U.S. shale fields will lift the country’s oil production by 1.3 million barrels per day this year, according to consultancy Rystad Energy.

U.S. production will rise next year by 1.1 million bpd, slightly above U.S. government forecasts of around 990,000 bpd.

The consultancy expects U.S. oil and condensate production to hit 12.9 million bpd in December and 14 million bpd by the end of 2020.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects output in 2020 to rise to 13.23 million bpd.

Rystad expects 2020 to be “not too rosy but not too bleak” for the oil industry, said Bjornar Tonhaugen, head of oil market research, with U.S. oil prices between $50 and $55 per barrel in 2020, with international prices around $60 per barrel.

Despite concerns about a possible global recession, crude demand will benefit from tougher rules on sulfur emissions from ships that will come into effect next year, Tonhaugen said.

U.S. crude output has surged thanks to the Permian basin in Texas and New Mexico, the country’s biggest oil field. The U.S. is now the world’s largest producer, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Russia.

But the rate of growth has slowed, with U.S. energy firms reducing the number of oil rigs operating for the ninth straight month to its lowest since January 2018. Producers face pressure from investors to return cash in the form of dividends or share buybacks, and are trimming budgets to try to spend within cash flow.

New production from countries including Norway and Brazil, along with U.S. output, will add around 2 million new bpd to the global market from non-OPEC countries and their partners, according to Rystad, pressuring the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to continue production cuts.

OPEC, Russia and other producers have since Jan. 1 implemented a deal to cut output by 1.2 million bpd. The alliance, known as OPEC+, in July renewed the pact until March 2020 and a committee reviewing the pact meets on Thursday.

Reporting by Jennifer Hiller; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Marguerita Choy

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